Courchevel’s L’Apogee Hotel By Roz Kempner
L’Apogee Hotel in Courchevel certainly has the “wow factor” written all over it! Excellently positioned overlooking the village, with “ski in / ski out” facilities, it has been designed with great taste. It is contemporary, slick and luxurious, and attentive staff do everything with a smile. Our suite had terrific views, fur throws, ample cupboard space, a good-sized bathroom and lots of lovely bath products.
The hotel bar is very cool, with live music in the evening – although we did expect something a little more exciting than nuts with our cocktails. The Smoking Room is a cigar smoker’s heaven. A vast cabinet of cigars within a decadently comfortable room – no freezing outside for smokers here! Then the Restaurant….breath-taking. A double staircase elegantly descends to a central horseshoe bar, off which there are three dining areas, creating intimacy in this large, graceful space. The walls are decorated with displays of magnificent wines. The Cheese Cellar has a home of its own, and a mountain of ice in the centre of the Sushi Bar is laden with fresh fish.
This is the only restaurant within a hotel in Courchevel in which we have actually had a desire to eat, and furthermore eaten exceptionally well. The menu covers gastronomic, local Savoyard and Asian dishes. The aroma of homemade bread is intoxicating, and the lemony brioche was just to die for – it was light as air. The Jerusalem Artichoke soup – a delicate, fluffy espuma with a cloud-like chicken quenelle, chunks of artichoke heart, and generous truffle shavings – was a triumph with great textures. The fillet steak was flawless, and the chicken breast stuffed with truffles was packed with flavour and cooked to perfection.
Other highlights were the tastiest daily breads, a totally wicked miniature Salmon Wellington served as an amuse bouche, meaty gyoza, a citrus Asian crab salad, and a seriously sophisticated Thai green curry. The latter was a beautifully cooked piece of snow white fish, served in a pool of vibrant green sauce. A striking but delicate dish.
The Pastry Chef here deserves an award. He produces the lightest pastries and breads imaginable. The enormous breakfast buffet is the best we have ever come across, and the horseshoe bar is bedecked with everything one could possibly desire, with the resident chef producing freshly-baked, irresistible cookies and the like every morning.
Of course, then there is the skiing bit. The latest, hottest ski wear is for sale in the Ski Room, and the staff are on hand to help you slip into your boots before guiding you outside to your skis. No sweat and tears. To top it all off, upon your return to this haven of luxury, a must is to relax by the dreamy pool and indulge in a sumptuous spa treatment. This is a fabulous new addition to a first class resort.